“The inquiry was completed between the unit’s commanders and service members. It has been determined that those service members have violated the spirit and intent of applicable [Defense Department] regulations concerning the flying of flags and the apparent endorsement of political activities. Administrative corrective measures were taken with each individual based on their respective responsibility.” Lt. Jacqui Maxwell, Spokeswoman.
Ok, but still ... Trump was already Commander-In-Chief. I know this might be a grey area but there was no campaign, and no candidate. It seems they are supporting their new commanding officer.
Defense Department regulations prohibit the military from endorsing or appearing to endorse any “political candidate, campaign, or cause.” Display of the large flag was also unauthorized under Navy regulations governing display of flags and pennants, Maxwell has said.
In March 2016, ahead of the presidential election, the Navy published guidance reminding troops of existing regulations governing political activity.
“Any activity that may be reasonably viewed as directly or indirectly associating with the DoD, or any component or personnel of the department, with a partisan political activity or is otherwise contrary to the spirit and intention of this policy guidance will be avoided,” the guidance stated.
I wonder if this was more about Navy guidelines for display, and avoiding public controversy. Regardless, it appears to be a slap on the wrist.